On Wednesday, the HapiFork team launched a 45-day Kickstarter campaign to raise $100,000 and sign up the first 1,000 users. Those early adopters will be the company's first chance to collect a large amount of data and test how effective the fork's vibration is at changing eaters' behavior. HapiLabs plans to start shipping the first forks to early Kickstarter donors at the end of the summer, and roll the devices out to everyone by the end of the year.
"We want to cater to a community of people who like to eat mindfully," said Boutain.
Data, data everywhere
Since it has started collecting data from test users, HapiLabs has found that people take about 70 fork bites per meal. They start eating fast but slow down after six minutes, and in an interesting bit of carb trivia, they tend to eat rice much faster than pasta (possibly due to the labor-intensive twirling process).
This is just a sliver of the kind of insight the fork could give the company and medical researchers into how people eat. That potential is what makes the fork more than just a silly and fun novelty gadget. It represents an evolution in tracking technology.
In the coming years sensors will pop up in more and more household objects tracking things like air quality, movement, vital signs and other stats. This potential flood of sensors could lead to a mess of data, with each piece of information tracked in its own app. Fitness trackers like the Nike Fuel Band and the Fitbit are already hugely popular. A new company, Estonian startup Jomi Interactive, recently announced it is working on tracking devices that fit onto water bottles and monitor how much water you drink.
Ideally all the sensor companies will work together so that different data can be shared across apps and devices, allowing it to be analyzed for even more insightful conclusions.